Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
Two semi-circles (each of radius 1/2) touch each other, and a semi-circle of radius 1 touches both of them. Find the radius of the circle which touches all three semi-circles.
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle ABCD. A circle passing through points ABCD carves out four crescent-shaped regions. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to. . . .
What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?
Find the missing angle between the two secants to the circle when
the two angles at the centre subtended by the arcs created by the
intersections of the secants and the circle are 50 and 120 degrees.
A box has faces with areas 3, 12 and 25 square centimetres. What is
the volume of the box?
Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two
people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and
diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?
If the sides of the triangle in the diagram are 3, 4 and 5, what is
the area of the shaded square?
A hallway floor is tiled and each tile is one foot square. Given
that the number of tiles around the perimeter is EXACTLY half the
total number of tiles, find the possible dimensions of the hallway.
Polygons drawn on square dotty paper have dots on their perimeter (p) and often internal (i) ones as well. Find a relationship between p, i and the area of the polygons.
How many more miles must the car travel before the numbers on the milometer and the trip meter contain the same digits in the same order?
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten.
Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .
Think of a number... follow the machine's instructions. I know what
your number is! Can you explain how I know?
My train left London between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. and arrived in Paris
between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. At the start and end of the journey the
hands on my watch were in exactly the same positions but the. . . .
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums?
1/2 + 2/1 =
2/3 + 3/2 =
3/4 + 4/3 =
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
Two motorboats travelling up and down a lake at constant speeds
leave opposite ends A and B at the same instant, passing each
other, for the first time 600 metres from A, and on their return,
400. . . .
Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a
factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and
16 is a factor of 48.
Take a few whole numbers away from a triangle number. If you know
the mean of the remaining numbers can you find the triangle number
and which numbers were removed?
Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you notice when you add opposite ends?
Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?
Use algebra to reason why 16 and 32 are impossible to create as the
sum of consecutive numbers.
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
A moveable screen slides along a mirrored corridor towards a
centrally placed light source. A ray of light from that source is
directed towards a wall of the corridor, which it strikes at 45
degrees. . . .
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with
a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a
layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
Attach weights of 1, 2, 4, and 8 units to the four attachment
points on the bar. Move the bar from side to side until you find a
balance point. Is it possible to predict that position?
How to build your own magic squares.
How good are you at finding the formula for a number pattern ?
Think of a number and follow my instructions. Tell me your answer, and I'll tell you what you started with! Can you explain how I know?
Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?
The number 27 is special because it is three times the sum of its digits 27 = 3 (2 + 7). Find some two digit numbers that are SEVEN times the sum of their digits (seven-up numbers)?
The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 × 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .
Fifteen students had to travel 60 miles. They could use a car, which could only carry 5 students. As the car left with the first 5 (at 40 miles per hour), the remaining 10 commenced hiking along the. . . .
32 x 38 = 30 x 40 + 2 x 8; 34 x 36 = 30 x 40 + 4 x 6; 56 x 54 = 50
x 60 + 6 x 4; 73 x 77 = 70 x 80 + 3 x 7 Verify and generalise if
A mother wants to share a sum of money by giving each of her
children in turn a lump sum plus a fraction of the remainder. How
can she do this in order to share the money out equally?